After the deckhand was fired by Bravo, the network edited the current season to "minimize his appearance"

By Aurelie Corinthios
July 28, 2020 10:37 AM
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Peter Hunziker is speaking out over a month after Bravo announced he had been fired for "racist posts."

The former Below Deck Mediterranean star issued an apology Monday on Instagram.

"A little over 3 months ago someone sent me a meme on social media and I thoughtlessly reposted it," he began. "I now realize how painful the imagery and symbolism is and, upon deeper consideration, I realize that the implicit bias that exists in the brief text written in the meme is offensive."

"To all those I have hurt and offended please know that I am genuinely sorry," he continued. "I have always fully supported equal rights and equal opportunities for ALL people."

"Be safe, stay well, and always think before you post," he added. "With love, Pete."

Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

The network announced the deckhand's firing in June, shortly after season 5 premiered. Hunziker was new to the series.

"Peter Hunziker of Below Deck Mediterranean has been terminated for his racist posts," a Bravo spokesperson told PEOPLE at the time.

"Bravo and [production company] 51 Minds are editing the show to minimize his appearance for subsequent episodes," the network added.

Hunziker's brief time on the show had not been smooth-sailing. In the early episodes, he was reprimanded by Captain Sandy Yawn after referring to his boss, bosun Malia White, as "sweetie" or "sweetheart," which was deemed inappropriate.

Hunziker's termination came shortly after Bravo cut ties with four Vanderpump Rules stars: Stassi Schroeder, Kristen Doute, Max Boyens and Brett Caprioni.

Schroeder and Doute, both original cast members, had both apologized for calling the police on former costar Faith Stowers after spotting a tabloid article about a black woman wanted for theft in 2018. New stars Boyens and Caprioni had come under fire before season 8 aired due to past racist tweets; both have apologized.

After their exits, Schroeder, 32, and Doute, 37, issued a joint statement via their rep saying they want to "move forward as part of the solution."

"Stassi and Kristen acknowledged what they did was wrong, have apologized and been punished," their rep Steve Honig told PEOPLE. "Without casting aside their actions or the impact of those actions, they want to move forward as part of the solution in ways that are productive, meaningful and sincere. Both of them recognize actions speak louder than words and that is what will guide them as they move forward."